Oxus Treasure Ancient Tajikistan Achaemenid Persia Gold Treasure Coins Jewelry

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,624) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382881756271 The Oxus Treasure (British Museum Objects in Focus) by John Curtis. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: British Museum (2012). Pages: 64. Size: 8 x 5 ¾ inches. Summary: In May 1880 Captain F.C. Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, rescued a group of merchants who had been captured by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. With them was a rich and impressive collection of gold and silver objects dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the banks of the River Oxus, the entire hoard was, in due course, bequeathed to the British Museum. Consisting of around 170 objects, including vessels, a gold scabbard, armlets, coins and much more, the collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. With exciting and descriptive insight placing the treasure into historical and cultural context, this book takes a closer look at the individual wonders that make up the Oxus Treasure one of the British Museums most celebrated and cherished collections. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. British Museum (2012) 64 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8867a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: A concise and beautifully illustrated introduction to the Oxus Treasure, the most important surviving collection of gold and silver from the Achaemenid era In May 1880 Captain F.C. Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, rescued a group of merchants who had been captured by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. With them was a rich and impressive collection of gold and silver objects dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the banks of the River Oxus, the entire hoard was, in due course, bequeathed to the British Museum. Consisting of around 170 objects, including vessels, a gold scabbard, armlets, coins and much more, the collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. With exciting and descriptive insight placing the treasure into historical and cultural context, this book takes a closer look at the individual wonders that make up the Oxus Treasure – one of the British Museum’s most celebrated and cherished collections. REVIEW: John Curtis is Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum. Mainly interested in archaeology and history of Iraq and Iran circa 1000-330 BC, John has directed a number of excavations on behalf of the British Museum. John has authored several books, including “Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia”, with Nigel Tallis (British Museum Press, 2005). TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Discovery. The Theft and Recovery of the Treasure. Description of the Treasure. Technical Analysis of the Treasure. The Art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Dating the Treasure. What Can We Deduce from the Treasure? PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: John Curtis, "The Oxus Treasure", British Museum Objects in Focus, London: British Museum Press, 2012, 64 pp., 38 color and 5 black-and-white illustrations. The author, Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum, is the foremost living authority on the Oxus "Treasure," the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork. It consists of about 180 objects (most other sources say 170 artifacts) dating, in the main, from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. This was the era of the Achaemenid Empire, created by Cyrus the Great (559-530 B.C.), when the Persians controlled the vast area from Egypt and the Aegean to Afghanistan and the Indus Valley. The collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. Curtis's slim volume provides the salient points about the Treasure (the British always capitalize the "T"). Following a contextual "Introduction," he provides the reader with a clear, well-illustrated text in which he summarizes the murky "discovery" of the Treasure; the story of its theft and recovery; how it came to the British Museum, followed by a description of the Treasure and results of a non-invasive technical analysis of the gold (presumably by XRF -- X-ray fluorescence but, alas, we are not fully informed about this). A brief essay on the art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire provides information regarding artistic style and potential provenience (location where it was fabricated), and another essay on its chronology. The final composition is "What can we deduce from the Treasure?" while a list of "Further Readings and Web Resources," includes ten print references and two Internet sites. Four of the readings are authored or coauthored by Curtis, four others by Russian archaeologist B. A. Litvinsky, and include Ormonde Maddock Dalton's (1866-1945) scholarly classic The Treasure of the Oxus, with Other Objects from Ancient Persia and India, revised 3rd ed., London (1964). The salient facts are that the Treasure appears to have been collected over a long period (1876-1880) and perhaps from the illegal excavation of a temple ruin. The Treasure was found on the banks of the River Oxus, likely at the site of Takht-i Kuwad, a ferry station on the north bank of the river near the border of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan just across the riverine frontier with Afghanistan. Objects purloined from archaeological sites were often sold by the locals to traveling merchants. The collection included 51 gold dedicatory plaques made from thin sheet gold, human and animal figurines in gold and silver, a gold scabbard for a dagger, a bow case, model chariots and figures, stamps and seals made of gold or carved semiprecious stone (carnelian and chalcedony), gold finger-rings, personal objects (armlets, griffin-headed bracelets, and torcs or neck rings), small gold plaques for decorating clothing, gold vessels (a jug and bowls), and coins. Similar bracelets and armlets are seen on palace reliefs from Persepolis being given as tribute gifts and honorifics at the Persian court. In May 1880, in the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) Captain Francis Charles Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan rescued a group of merchants who had been attacked by bandits while traveling between Kabul and Peshawar. They were carrying with them a collection of gold and silver objects. Burton bought from them a gold armlet, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The merchants then continued to Rawalpindi to sell the rest of the Treasure. Other pieces of the Treasure subsequently were found in the bazaars of Rawalpindi. Some were acquired for the British Museum by Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham (1814-1893), Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, and others were obtained by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, a museum curator and benefactor. Franks bought Cunningham's share of the treasure, and eventually the entire Oxus treasure was bequeathed by him to the British Museum. It is one of the museum's most celebrated and cherished collections. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Authoritative and beautifully illustrated, the perfect booklet about the famed Oxus Treasure for the general reader interested in world history. Dr. Kolb's comments are pertinent. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: On rare occasions, all that glisters is indeed gold, as the British captain F C Burton discovered when he rescued a group of merchants from bandits on the road from Kabul to Peshawar in the spring of 1880. Intrigued by the treasure the merchants carried, Burton purchased from them a gold lion- and griffin-headed armlet and alerted colonial colleagues to scour the markets of Rawalpindi where the merchants were thought to be headed. Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, director general of the Archaeological Survey of India, and Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, a curator of the British Museum, managed to reunite around 170 gold and silver artifacts from the original treasure hoard, including vessels, coins, armlets and rings, and a beautifully intricate figurine of a charioteer. The Oxus Treasure is the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork and it dates from the 5th-4th centuries bc when the Achaemenid empire stretched from Egypt in the west to the Indus Valley in the east. Though the exact site of its discovery is unknown, it is thought to have been found on the riverbank at Takht-i Kuwad, and archaeologists have subsequently hypothesised that it would have originally been collected and stored at the Oxus Temple in Takht-i Sangin. Today the Oxus Treasure takes pride of place in the Ancient Iran gallery at the British Museum, where it was bequeathed by Franks upon his death in 1897. President Rahmon called for its return to Tajikistan in 2010, but this is unlikely to occur. REVIEW: The magnificent Oxus Treasure is the most important surviving collection of Persian Achaemenid treasure. Housed in the British Museum, it consists of 180 exquisite objects in gold and silver. One of the earliest pieces in the Treasure is a gold scabbard, embossed with scenes showing a lion hunt. These hunting scenes are reminiscent of Assyrian reliefs from the mid-7th century BC. There are many magnificent objects in the Oxus Treasure, but among the best known are a pair of gold armlets, with the terminals in the form of winged griffins with horns, originally inlaid with glass and coloured stones. An outstanding piece is a model of a chariot pulled by four horses; in the chariot are a driver and a passenger wearing Median dress. Another much larger figure in silver is of a nude youth, wearing a Persian headdress, but his nudity indicates Greek influence. Other items include gold cups, a silver bowl with a rosette in the centre and radiating petals and a gold jug with a handle ending in a lion's mask. The largest single group of material is a collection of thin gold plaques ranging in height from 2 cm to 50 cm. Most have chased outlines of human figures, possibly of priests. The plaques are votive and they and the other objects in the Treasure have the appearance of material that was dedicated to a temple over a period of centuries Originally associated with the Treasure were about 1,500 coins covering a span of about 300 years down to the early second century, which indicates that the treasure was buried about 200 BC. Local people found the treasure in the sands of the Oxus (Amu Darya) in the 1870s, probably at Takht-i Kuwat, which is close to Takht-i Sangin. Gold vessel in the form of a fish possibly a carp that may have been used to store oil Persian Oxus Treasure 5th-4th century BCE"A large part of the treasure was nearly lost in 1880 and only recovered by chance in extraordinary, even bizarre circumstances. According to O.M. Dalton, whose 1905 catalogue of the Oxus Treasure remains the basic publication, in May of that year three merchants from Bokhara, who presumably bought the treasure from local villagers, were traveling with it from Kabul to Peshawar. East of Kabul they were attacked by local tribesmen, who seized them and the Treasure. However, their servant was able to escape and raised the alarm in the camp of Captain E C. Burton, a political officer in Afghanistan. Burton set off with two orderlies and came across the robbers in a cave shortly before midnight. They were in the process of dividing up their spoil and were already quarrelling over it. Four were lying wounded. We are told that "a parley ensued", as a result of which much of the Treasure was given up to Burton. The next day he threatened to lead a force against the robbers, which persuaded them to bring in another large part of the Treasure. In this way about three quarters was restored to the merchants and, as a token of their gratitude, they allowed Burton to purchase the large gold armlet subsequently acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum." The merchants continued on their journey to Peshawar and eventually sold the treasure in Rawalpindi. Part of it was acquired from dealers there by Major General Sir Alexander Cunningham, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. Cunningham in turn sold the pieces to Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, who on his death in 1897 bequeathed them to the British Museum. REVIEW: The Oxus treasure is a collection of about 180 surviving pieces of metalwork in gold and silver, the majority rather small, plus perhaps about 200 coins, from the Achaemenid Persian period which were found by the Oxus river (a major river flowing into the Aral Sea in Central Asia) about 1877-1880. The exact place and date of the find remain unclear, and it is likely that many other pieces from the hoard were melted down for bullion. Early reports suggest there were originally some 1500 coins, and mention types of metalwork that are not among the surviving pieces. The metalwork is believed to date from the sixth to fourth centuries BC, but the coins show a greater range, with some of those believed to belong to the treasure coming from around 200 BC. The most likely origin for the treasure is that it belonged to a temple, where votive offerings were deposited over a long period. How it came to be deposited is unknown. As a group, the treasure is the most important survival of what was once an enormous production of Achaemenid work in precious metal. It displays a very wide range of quality of execution, with the many gold votive plaques mostly crudely executed, some perhaps by the donors themselves, while other objects are of superb quality, presumably that expected by the court. The British Museum now has nearly all the surviving metalwork, with one of the pair of griffin-headed bracelets on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and displays them in Room 52. The group arrived at the museum by different routes, with many items bequeathed to the nation by Augustus Wollaston Franks. The coins are more widely dispersed, and more difficult to firmly connect with the treasure. A group believed to come from it is in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Peterburg, and other collections have examples. Achaemenid style arose rapidly with the very quick growth of the huge empire, which swallowed up the artistic centres of the ancient Near East and much of the Greek world, and mixed influences and artists from these. Although continuing influences from these sources can often be detected the Achaemenids formed a distinct style of their own. The griffin-headed bracelets from the hoard are typical of the 5th to 4th century BC court style of Achaemenid Persia. Bracelets of a similar form to ones from the treasure can be seen on reliefs from Persepolis being given as tribute, whilst Xenophon writes that armlets (among other things) were gifts of honour at the Persian court. Glass, enamel or semi-precious stone inlays within the bracelets' hollow spaces have now been lost. Sir John Boardman regards the gold scabbard, decorated with tiny figures showing a lion hunt, as pre-Achaemenid Median work of about 600 BC, drawing on Assyrian styles, though other scholars disagree, and the British Museum continues to date it to the 5th or 4th centuries. The surviving objects, an uncertain proportion of the original finds, can be divided into a number of groups. There are a number of small figurines, some of which may have been detached from larger objects. The single male figures appear to show worshippers rather than deities. The largest is most unusual for Persian art in showing a nude youth (in silver) standing in a formal pose, with a large conical hat covered in gold foil. The statuette shows Greek influence, in the figure and the fact of being nude, but is not typical of ancient Greek art. Two hollow gold heads of young males, rather crudely executed, probably belonged to composite statues with the main body in wood or some other material.One figure in silver and gold has a headdress that suggests he may be a king. Other sculptural objects include two model chariots in gold, one incomplete, plus figures of a horse and a rider that may belong to this or other model groups, as may two other horses cut out from sheet gold. The wheels of the complete chariot would originally have turned freely, and it had received at least one repair in antiquity. It is pulled by four horses (rather small, and with only nine legs surviving between them) and carries two figures, a driver and a seated passenger, both wearing torcs. The chariot has handrails at the open rear to assist getting in and out, while the solid front carries the face of the protective Egyptian dwarf-god Bes. A leaping ibex was probably the handle of an amphora-type vase, and compares with handles shown on tribute vessels in the Persepolis reliefs, as well as an example now in the Louvre. The two griffin-headed bracelets or armlets are the most spectacular pieces by far, despite lacking their stone inlays. There are a number of other bracelets, some perhaps torcs for the neck, several with simpler animal head terminals variously depicting goats, ibex, sheep, bulls, ducks, lions, and fantastic creatures. Many have inlays, or empty cells for them; it used to be thought that this technique was acquired from Ancient Egyptian jewellery (as in some of Tutankhamun's grave goods), but Assyrian examples are now known. There are 12 finger rings with flat bezels engraved for use as signet rings, and two stone cylinder seals, one finely carved with a battle scene. The griffin-headed bracelets were also the most complex objects to manufacture, being cast in several elements, then worked in many different techniques, and soldered together. Some of the surfaces are very thin, and show signs of damage, and in one place repair with a soldered patch. A "Gold plaque in the form of a lion-griffin, with the body of an ibex and a leaf-shaped tail", with missing inlay, has two prongs behind for attaching it, and may have been an ornament for a cap or the hair, or part of an object. The animal's legs are folded beneath its body in a way characteristic of the Scythian animal style of the southern Russian steppes, an influence also seen in other pieces such a ring with a lion. A stylized birds-head ornament can be recognised, like the finely-decorated scabbard of "Median" shape, as very similar to that of a soldier from a Persepolis relief, where it forms the crest to his bow-case. These seem to be the only items relating to weapons, though other pieces may have decorated horse harness. Another group of plaques were probably bracteates intended to be sewn onto clothing through the small holes round their edges. These have a variety of motifs, including the face of the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, lion-griffins, a sphinx, and a cut-out figure apparently showing a king. The British Museum has 51 thin gold plaques with incised designs, which are regarded as votive plaques left by devotees at a temple as an offering to the deity. They are mostly rectangular with the designs in a vertical format, and range from 2 to 20 cm tall. Most show a single human figure facing left, many carrying a bunch of twigs called a barsom used in offerings; these probably represent the offeror. The dress of the figures shows the types known as "Median" and "Persian" to modern historians, and the quality of the execution is mostly relatively low, but varies greatly, with some appearing to have been incised by amateurs. Three show animals, a horse, a donkey and a camel; possibly it was their health that was the subject of the offering. One large figure is in shallow relief within its incised outline. The London group includes bowls, a gold jug, and a handle from a vase or ewer in the form of a leaping ibex, which is similar to a winged Achaemenid handle in the Louvre. No rhyton drinking vessels were found, but the British Museum has two other Achaemenid examples, one ending in a griffin's head similar to that on the bracelets in the treasure. A hollow gold fish, apparently representing a species of carp found only in the Oxus, has a hole at its mouth and a loop for suspension; it may have contained oil or perfume, or hung as one of a group of pendants. The association of surviving coins with the treasure is less generally accepted than for the other items, and O. M. Dalton of the British Museum, author of the monograph on the treasure, was reluctant to identify any specific coins as part of it, while Sir Alexander Cunningham (see below) disagreed, identifying about 200. The Russian scholar E.V. Zeymal associated 521 surviving coins with the treasure, without extending the terminus post quem for deposition of the treasure beyond Cunningham's figure of about 180 B.C. The coins associated with the treasure include examples from various Achaemenid mints and dates, but also later ones from after the conquest of the Empire by Alexander the Great, with the latest being of the reigns of Antiochus the Great (reigned 223-187 BC) and Euthydemus I of Bactria (reigned 235-200 BC). The treasure was evidently discovered by local people somewhere on the north bank of the Oxus in what is today Tajikistan but was in the 1870s in the Emirate of Bokhara, which was in the process of being swallowed up by the Russian Empire. Then as now, the south bank of the Oxus was Afghanistan; at the period when the treasure originated the whole area was part of the Persian Empire. The approximate area of the discovery is fairly clear; it was near, perhaps some three miles south of, Takhti-Sangin, where an important temple was excavated by Soviet archaeologists in the 20th century, producing a large number of finds of metalwork and other objects, which seem to have been deposited from about 300 BC to as late as the third century AD. While it is tempting to connect the temple and treasure, as some scholars have proposed, the range of objects found, and a founding date for the temple proposed by the excavators of about 300 BC, do not neatly match up. The area was a major ancient crossing point for the Oxus, and the treasure may have come from further afield. The first mention in print of the treasure was an article in a Russian newspaper in 1880, written by a Russian general who in 1879 was in the area enquiring into the Trans-Caspian railway that the Russians had just begun to construct. He recounted that local reports said that treasure had been found in the ruins of an ancient fort called "Takht-i Kuwad", which was sold to Indian merchants. A later report by Sir Alexander Cunningham, the British general and archaeologist who was the first Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, described the finds, which he said began in 1877, as being in the river itself, "scattered about in the sands of the river", in a place exposed in the dry season, though another account he later gave, based on new information, rather confused the issue. Cunningham acquired many pieces himself through dealers in northern India (modern Pakistan). Another account by a British general owning some objects said that they had been discovered in 1876, exposed by "a land slip of the river bank". Hopeful diggers continued to excavate the site for years afterwards, and perhaps objects continued to be found; accounts from locals mention many gold "idols", a gold tiger, and other objects not tallying with the surviving pieces. One large group of objects, perhaps the bulk of the treasure, was bought from locals by three merchants from Bokhara in 1880, who unwisely left their convoy on the road south from Kabul to Peshawar and were captured by Afghan tribesmen, who carried them and their goods into the hills, but allowed a servant of the merchants to escape. News of the episode reached Captain Francis Charles Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, who immediately set out with two orderlies. About midnight he came upon the robbers, who had already begun to fight among themselves, presumably over the division of the loot, with four of them lying wounded on the ground. The treasure was spread out on the floor of the cave they were sheltered in. In a parlay Burton recovered a good part of the treasure, and later a further portion, which he restored to the merchants. In gratitude, they sold him the bracelet which he sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum (now on loan to the British Museum) for £1,000 in 1884. The merchants then continued to Rawalpindi in modern Pakistan to sell the rest of the Treasure; Cunningham acquired many of these pieces, and though dealers, Franks others. The robbers evidently considered the objects as bullion, and had cut up some larger ones, such as a gold scabbard now in the British Museum.[33] Other pieces may have been cut up in antiquity (like hacksilver), or upon discovery at the site. Franks later bought Cunningham's collection, and bequeathed all his objects to the British Museum at his death in 1897. The incomplete model chariot and a detached figure of a rider were presented to the Viceroy of India at the time, Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (son of the bestselling novelist) by Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British representative in Kabul after the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Cavagnari, his mission and their guards were all massacred in Kabul on 3 September 1879. Lytton's rider was acquired by the British Museum in 1931, and the chariot group in 1953. The Achaemenid kings, at least after Cyrus the Great and Cambyses, describe themselves in inscriptions as worshippers of Ahuramazda, but it is not clear if their religious practice included Zoroastrianism. It is also evident that it was not the Persian way to impose the royal religious beliefs on their subjects (as for example the Jews, whose religious practices were not interfered with after they were conquered). Other Persian cults were the worship of Mithra and of Zurvan, and other local cults seem to have continued under the empire. The religious context of the treasure is unclear, although it is thought to have come from a temple. Comparable objects in the "Apadama" reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute. The circumstances of the discovery and trading of the pieces, and their variety of styles and quality of workmanship, cast some doubt on their authenticity from the start, and "necessitate a cautious treatment of the Oxus Treasure, for it has passed through places of evil repute and cannot have come out quite unscathed", as Dalton put it in 1905. Indeed, Dalton records that Indian dealers initially made copies of items and tried to pass them off to Franks, who though not deceived, bought some "at a small percentage over the gold value" and then received the genuine objects, which were easily distinguished. Considerable comfort has been received from the objects' similarity to later Achaemenid finds, many excavated under proper archaeological conditions, which the Oxus Treasure certainly was not. In particular, finds of jewellery including armlets and torcs in a tomb at Susa by a French expedition from 1902 onwards (now in the Louvre) are closely similar to the Oxus finds. As the quality and style of the objects was generally considered to have stood the test of time, concerns over the antiquity of the great majority of the objects reduced over the years. The issue was revived in 2003 when the archaeologist Oscar Muscarella, employed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for 40 years, was reported in The Times, in a story by Peter Watson, to have "labelled as mostly fake" the treasure. However he was attacked by the Director of the Metropolitan, Philippe de Montebello, who said Muscarella, a long-standing critic of museums' tolerance and even encouragement of the trade in illegal antiquities, only remained there because of the "exigencies of academic tenure", and was himself criticised for suppressing debate. In an article on the Oxus Treasure published in 2003 Muscarella goes nothing like as far, but does fiercely attack the assumed unity of the treasure and the narratives of its provenience, and is sceptical of the authenticity of some of the votive plaques (especially the largest in the illustration above). In 2007, Emomalii Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, was reported as calling for the repatriation of the treasure, despite the fact that it had been recovered and sold by local peoples and acquired by museums in the art market.[43] However, no formal claim has been made by the Tajik government, and in 2013, "high-quality golden replicas" of pieces from the Oxus Treasure were presented to the Tajik government by the British Museum, intended for the new Tajik National Museum. REVIEW: tHE gold model chariot on the cover of the book was discovered by a group of merchants around the River Oxus in present-day Tajikistan along with 170 other objects made of gold and silver between 1876 and 1880. Collectively known as the Oxus Treasure, the pieces are considered to be the most important surviving artifacts of the Achaemenid period of the Persian Empire. Symbolic of the multiculturalism of the Persian Empire under, and after, Cyrus the Great, the piece features two figures wearing the garbs of the Medes from Iran and the face of the Egyptian god of protection Bes on the front of the chariot. The exact purpose of the model is unknown and at the center of scholarly debate; some believed it to be a toy, others surmise it was an offering to a temple. Currently, the Oxus Treasure, including a second incomplete gold model chariot, resides in The British Museum. In "The Oxus Treasure in The British Museum," John Curtis, a specialist in Iranian archaeology and art, notes that numerous pieces from the Oxus Treasure possessed a composition of "alluvial gold alloyed with a little copper and possibly silver". This is true for the model chariot as well. According to Aude Mongiatti, the Conservator of the British Museum, microscopic specks of iridium and osmium are also present in the gold of two of the horses' bodies, which is considered common of gold that is panned from river sands. The copper, however, was purposely added to "harden" the gold, which is considered to be a "soft metal," and to ultimately create a more durable finished product. The process by which the model was created showed exceptional artistry and expertise on the part of the craftsman. Both men and the four horses were hollow and the products of portions of gold sheet being "cut out" and "soldered" together; the bodies were created by "hammering" these pieces of gold into molds. The intricate details, such as facial features and clothes, were delicately added later. For the chariot, the goldsmith molded the shape out of a sheet of gold. Wire was used for the reins and the rims and spokes of each of the wheels, all of which were fully functioning. The charioteer and nobleman are also attached to the chariot by wires; the feet of the driver are connected to the chariot's floor while his passenger is fixed to a strip of gold that acts as his seat. Because of the vast amount of cultures and land that came under Cyrus the Great's Persian Empire, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact location as to the origin of the materials used to make model chariot, and by extension the general Oxus Treasure; however, the area of Bactria, an eastern section of the empire in present-day Afghanistan, is a likely candidate for the large amounts of gold64, xvii-xviii, xx]. If this is true, the model chariot did not travel far as it was thought to have been re-discovered Tajikistan by 19th century merchants before being brought back through Afghanistan to be traded. According to the British Museum, it eventually acquired the treasure when Sir Augustus Wollaston Frank, curator of the Museum, bought pieces of it from bazaars in India and Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Achaemenid Persian Empire, consummated in 550 BCE with Cyrus the Great's victory of King Astyages' Median Empire, was the largest in ancient human history. This subsequently led to the Cyrus' conquering of the Lydian, Egyptian, and Babylonian empires. Unfortunately, the majority of historical records regarding the Empire come from contemporary Greeks. However, the assorted influences of these conquered empires in Persian art and architecture have been able to further explain the history of the Persian Empire. Since its discovery, numerous theories have been put forth about the reasons behind the amassing of this treasure and the constructing of its individual pieces. One prominent theory holds that the collection is a hoard of a temple or shrine. In regards to the chariot model, Perry notes that some scholars have noted that the image of the Egyptian god Bes, sometimes connected to Egyptian children, may suggest that it was toy of an elite's child. Some scholars believed that it could have been a soldier's offering in hopes of protection during battle. Keeper of the British and Medieval Antiquities Department at the British Museum, O.M. Dalton, however, believed otherwise. Focusing on the chariot's interior structure, Dalton notes that the noble occupant is forced to sit facing sideways and that there is no back to the chariot; therefore, the chariot was likely not used for battle or "the pursuit of wild beasts," but rather "peaceful excursions". Furthermore, the seated nobleman, whom Dalton believes may have been a satrap, is considerably larger than the charioteer. This difference in size was meant to "render distinctions of rank" by showing "important persons on a larger scale than the rest". This purposeful skewing of this upper class figure heavily suggests the person who commissioned, or was the recipient of, the model chariot was a himself a member of the nobility. This could likely fit with a separate theory that the treasure had initially belonged to an "old-established" Bactrian family who added to the horde with each successive generation. According to the British Museum, this particular model chariot is comparable to the one that Persian Emperor Darius I is shown riding on a cylinder seal. In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Shahrokh Razmjou, curator of the British Museum, stated that the gold model chariot should act as "a reminder of the massive networks of Persian roads and highways which connected remote places...from Central Asia and India to Europe and Africa." Driven by the Achaemenid dynasty's fervent multiculturalism and tolerance, these far-reaching trade routes allowed peaceful spreading and embracing of different fashions, religions, and precious metal. In doing so, many of these foreign influences manifested into this particular model chariot. In a move hailed as a "masterpiece of administrative genius," Darius I, son and successor of Cyrus the Great, employed twenty provincial governors, known as satraps, to collect taxes and tributes and rule the empire on localized levels [Dalton 1964, xxiv]. These payments of tributes likely furthered the spread of ingenious culture and economic influences. For instance, satraps were sent to both of the kingdoms of Media and Bactria, whose influences (along with a motley of others) on the model chariot are well documented. As mentioned above, there is a possibility that the nobleman sitting in the model chariot is meant to be a satrap. Upon examining the model chariot, scholars noted that the use of four horses, as opposed to two, was influenced by societies as far west as Syria]. The goldsmith's use of abnormally small horses when much of the Persian Empire's land catered to the large Nisaean horses was inspired by chariot models of Cyprus, Greece at the time. The "belted tunic," necklaces, caps, and robes of the charioteer and his passenger in the model chariot are described as typical of the Median dress at the time. In fact, similar Median "costume" is dawned by kings on monuments dating back to the Achaemenid dynasty. According to the British Museum, the face that adorns the front of the chariot is that of the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, a deity who symbolized protection. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $9.99 to $37.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: BRAND NEW. See detailed condition description below., Size: 8 x 5¾ inches, Material: Paper, Provenance: Ancient Persia, Format: Softcover, Publisher: British Museum (2012), Length: 63 pages

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